LB

TELL A STORY ABOUT WHEN YOU STARTED FISHING

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Tell a story about how and where you started fishing
 
Growing up in Coney lsland Brooklyn NY 50s and 60s and Striper Surf Club
 
 I wasn't a club member of Striper Surf Club but l fished with most of the members l would track them down they knew where the fish was, at that time l was 15 years old there were two members that took me under their wing in the mid-50s for a while until Uncle Sam got a hold of me in 1963  they thought me a lot about fishing for bass with rigid eels tins and bucktails and some plugs one was Al Bentsen and Chuck Leigh, Chuck is still with us Al passed away around 2005.
The tackle for Long island Montauk and the  Cape was pretty barebones take only what you needed a good supply of rigid eels for the trip, plugs simple, a reversed Atom 40 squid color the other was Atom 40 sky blue (blue swirl) and a Gibbs darter green and black and white popper bucktails and tins, plug bag army surplus gas mask bag, now hardware, Army jeep to run the beaches l think was left there until the season was over.
A Penn 140 Squidder $9.99 on sale in 1959, 34lb test Dacron line, my rod was a 9ft Calcutta blank $3.50 that l built a couple of guides and reel set and one bicycle handlebar grip for the butt grip l couldn't afford a good glass custom built rod but l did have good waders RedBall or was it Converse and a Navy waxed surplus pullover parker l think the whole setup was around $75.00 a lot of money back then fo me as a teenager.
The Cape was wide open no permits needed to get on and get off where ever you wanted, Chuck and Al knew a lot of people that lived there and whey would rent you a room, a couple of time that l went with them the room was $9.00 a day $3.00 per man l slept on the floor and that included a brown bag lunch with an apple that was eating at around midnight we went to bed at around 8 am from fishing all night got up around 3 pm went into town ate at the fishing boat docks on the water all freshly cooked food, then moped around they knew everyone around there l was a tag-along and as a teenager l keep my mouth shut and eyes and ears wide open.
Now fishing in my home grounds in the 50s and 60s Coney lsland Brooklyn NY l lived to go fishing two blocks north from where l lived was water Gravesend Bay great fishing there and two blocks south of me was the ocean-facing Sand Hook NJ and if you went west about Three blocks you had the tip of Brooklyn Norton's Point a jetty facing Staten lsland the point was a great spot to fish on a moving tides everything went buy or around the jetty, there was a channel that ran right in front of it and headed up to VZ bridge a route for baitfish and the predators fish would follow no brainer when the bait was in it wouldn't be long before the bass or blues or weakfish would follow.
The spot l would hit when l lived there is a private community you can only enter if you live there or went to visit someone, l visited a lot of people there and the guards got to know me and just would wave me by some times it coasts me a fish or two a price worth paying.
 
A map of where l lived and fish in Coney lsland until the 80s red dot where l lived until 1965 then moved out, and yellow spots are where l would try to see if there was any bass hanging around back then, lures mostly Red Fins, tins, bucktails, and poppers when the bass had the baitfish on the beach.
 
lt has changed a lot since l fished there on the Bayside there use to be a Yath Club with four piers going out to the channel in the 1930s when l started to fish there in the 50s the top walkways were gone so was the Yath Club,  but the pilings were still there it was a great hang out for bait and the bass know it l did very good there in the fall on both of the tides, there was only about 15 ft of beach from the bulkhead to the water when the pilings were there, the four green lines are where the piers were and the water would reach the bulkhead on high tide, in the picture all the piling are gone now, we would wade out almost armpit high to fish the tip of the pilings to reach into the channel a VS reel would have been great back then, reels would go underwater at one time or another.
 
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Link to Striper Surf Club and Great pictures from the 40s into the 70s l caught the tail end of the Good Old Days it was a different way of fishing back then.
l posted this link once before so for the newcomers to get a taste of what it was like in the good old days.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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 Great story, was Coney Island predominantly Italian when you were a kid?

  My dad would rent rowboats for fishing in Mamaroneck, NY, on western LI Sound. I started with bottom fishing about 60 years ago, I was 5 or so. I can barely remember, but I caught many Flounder, Puffers, and Bergalls with a handline.
  

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It was mixed the Western end Sea Gate was mostly Jewish the rest was mixed, Eastern end was Italian, and in the middle was a Mix again Irish German and Jewish, it was a good mix old type Neighborhood. we all got along, l was the outcast l was French I, and another family were the only two that were French.

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Great story LB.. grew up in Oceanside on the South Shore and we took many a party boat trip out of Sheepshead Bay when I was younger.

 

Here is my little tale....My Dad was an avid outdoorsman and at about age 4 it was clear that it was his goal to cultivate a fishing buddy, but at that age I was erratic as h*ll and all over the place.  So we were down in Florida visiting my grandparents and there was a little dock off the complex and on that dock was one of my grandfathers friends with a little spinning rod flipping a shrimp.  Dad and Mr. Flemming were getting into a conversation like adults do and Mr. Flemming handed me the rod, told me not to drop it, and walked over and sat on a bench with my Dad to have a relaxing conversation in the Miami sunlight.  A few minutes later their adult conversation was rudely interrupted by a little scream that according to Dad years later sounded something like "Daddy I dot a big one".  At first glance it appeared to them that I had simply hooking the piling under the dock..... until of course the bent over rod started bouncing.  6 pound sheephead... There is a picture on my 90 year old Mom's dresser of me in a little blue Captains Hat holding up that fish... I have been obsessed from that moment until today.

 

BTW, both men took me to the store later that afternoon and bought me my very first rod and reel... have no clue what the rod was but I will always remember looking down at my Mitchell 300.

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lt only took one fish to get you started, in his mind he said OK l got him hooked on fishing.

l had 3 sons the last one turned out to be a class one fishermen, a diehard who didn't care about the weather he just wanted to fish turn out to be a good surf caster and plug builder. 

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My first fishing memory is my Dad taking me to a small pond on the Cape.  My line is over a branch - likely for the 100th time! :laugh: - and I'm telling him to stop pulling so hard on the line.  

He responds with an annoyed "I'm not pulling on the line" and low and behold I'm hooked up to a Large Mouth Bass!  I successfully landed it after he got me free from the branch.  

 

We still joke about it to this day.  I still have the old Mitchell reel, too.  

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one of my most memorable memories of fishing for striped bass goes back to 1969,i was 5 years old.My dad was nut,and pretty well none on the south shore of LI.At that time he owned a 24 ft ANA,a very similiar boat to a Mckenze.It was the Wednesday before Columbus day weekend,and my dad let me skip school to fish with him,as a second set of eyes was always a good thing fishing Moriches inlet and the surrounding bars that set up and changed on a daily basis.We set off from Patchogue right around sunrise as the trip thru morichesbay was always a challenge due to the constant change of the channels .the lures that he used was a Tony Aceta jig head with nylon hair trolled in front of a drail.the other was a latex surgical tube dyed red with a strirp of either fluke belly or seas robin belly on the hook.trolled in the same manner.By afternoon the tally was 35 bass between 35lbs and 61 lbs with 5 over 50lbs. My father didn't sell bass, but all our relatives from SI to linenhurst would come by to get fish,all bringing something in return,the Rectory and convent at the school i went to also got their share of fish.Itsa day i will never forget.LB,i still run in to Chuch leigh from time to time,had the good fortune to speak to All B quite afew times and one of the Capes most known casters is my fishing partner most nights.though i never fished the Cape till around 96,i feel i knew most of the characters from the stories from working at at a popular tackle and mmeting many of the plyers later on

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 l.i.fish.in.vt Nice story.

l just thought of this one late 50s fishing locally, at the time l had no car to get around anyway to go was fare game a fishermen that lived on the same block as l got word of bass being caught at Long Beach  L.I. he also had no car but drive a truck for a diaper survive company little did l know he had a full load of $hitty diapers it wasn't a pleasant trip the windows were half down in October it paid off we did get some fish.

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Back in the year 2020, there was a pandemic. Everything was shut down, and the only recreation was outdoor stuff. So I went to Bass Pro Shop, and WalMart, bought up the entire stocks of fishing stuff. And started fishing. I now have around $15k worth of fishing stuff, that as soon as the pandemic is over y'all can buy my used equipment on ebay, Along with everybody else who's selling there because fishing sounded like a great idea, but now it's time to move onto the next big thing.

Should find lots of kayaks, and such for sale locally too.

 

Honestly, I cannot remember a time when I wasn't fishing. Most little kids get zebcos, I got a bait caster, and dacron line. And each weekend the family would fish the Pleasure beach pier,

Flounder. Stripers that had to be 16" Snappers with a cane pole in August.

Amazing how our equipment has improved and become so complicated through the years, when those cane poles and old bait casters caught fish just as well.

PS  I love the new complicated stuff, and will never have enough!

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I’ll share my story. This is more of a modern tale as it reflects when I got hooked. As a kid I always fished lakes and streams around my childhood home and friends’/families’ homes with my brothers. I always enjoyed that but never really got obsessed with fishing. 
 

When I moved back to NJ as a full fledged adult, I rented an apartment on the beach. On the day I looked at the apartment, I saw a guy walk down to the beach, fish for about 20 minutes and walk away with a nice keeper striper. I thought to myself, that’s pretty cool. In my naivety, I thought it was that easy. 
 

So, after I moved in, I went to the local Sports Authority, picked up a cheap ready to fish combo...the kind that said “striper: surf and pier.”  I thought it would be perfect. I went out once or twice with no success.

 

One day I was driving home and took the road along the beach for the view. I saw something I had never seen before. There were about 100 fishermen, maybe more, lined up on the beach and a bunch of stripers in the sand already. I rushed to my place, grabbed my crappy combo, and joined the ranks. I found a spot right in the middle of the mayhem. I started casting, and casting, and casting some more to no avail. I was baffled. People were hooking up every cast. They were snagging a dropping live bunker. They were casting top water, metals. It seemed like every thing worked (except what I was throwing). Fish were being dragged onto the beach all around me. I couldn’t get a single fish, not even a hit or bump. 
 

As I looked around me and paid close attention, I realized I wasn’t casting anywhere near the strike zone. I couldn’t reach with my pos combo. So I accepted my failure, just sat back, and watched something I have yet to experience again. This was 2011. I still haven’t seen anything like this again. I have had the good fortune to experience a schoolie blitz here and there, but nothing like this. This was a full on blitz with what seemed like all big fish; 20-30 pounders were all over the beach and probably many bigger fish too. 
 

Since that day, I‘ve been hooked. Within a couple days, I walked into the local b&t Surf side tackle, which is no longer around, and picked up my first real surf outfit. It’s been an obsession ever since. 

 

  

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Not sure when I went fishing for the first time.  Either one was late in the summer of 1956; I was two years old, and only have a couple of fragmented memories.

 

I lived in Greenwich, Connecticut back then, where my father grew up and fished since he was a boy.  It wasn't fancy fishing.  We're talking rowboats with oars, not engines, and rowing a couple of miles to get to the fish, fishing from shore, and doing things like bobbing for eels in the marsh (taking heavy sewing thread and sewing a bunch of earthworms into a ball; the ball goes on the end of the line, attached to a cane pole, and then you go out at night with a bushel basket and dip the ball of worms into the drains that flow through the marsh and wait for an eel to start chewing on the ball of worms; when one does, you pull pack and the eel's teeth gets tangled up in the thread and it can't let go until you put it down in the basket and slack off on the line, at which point you swing the worms back in the water and wait for the next eel).

 

Anyway, I remember two different days from that year.  On the first, we went to the town park/marina/sewer plant at Grass Island, which in those days was still an island (the marsh was filled to attach it to the shore when Route 95 was built), drove over a little wooden bridge, and parked at the side of the road.  Then we took the rods--classic 1950s boat rods with wooden spring butts, the old woven brown fiberglass blanks, and were maybe 6 1/2 or 7 feet long, and matched with Penn 285 conventional boat reels--and I followed my father down a dirt trail to through green reeds that were far taller than I was to get to a sod bank, where my father baited the hooks with earthworm and cast the baits--maybe 30 or 40 feet?--into the creek, leaned them against his wooden tackle box, and set the reels' clicks (he called them "ratchets").  Eventually, a click sounded, my father told me to pick up the rod, and helped me hold it (let's face it, he held it and put the reel in gear) as I turned the handle and struggled to bring my first-ever eel to the bank.

 

The other time, my father borrowed my uncle's boat, a wooden cabin cruiser in the low-20 foot range.  I lay on the bunk in the cabin, watching some rusted snapper hooks stuck into a bottle cork hanging from the cabin overhead swing back and forth (funny the things you remember when you were that age) until my mother, who was also on the boat, yelled that there were porpoises around the boat and I should come out to see them (the only time that I ever had porpoises around the boat in Long Island Sound, even though I lived in Greenwich for another 25 years and still go back there to fish every year.  My father anchored the boat somewhere off Tweed Island or Red Rock (I know that only because that's where he often fished back then, even as I grew older and we had our own boat; at the time, I didn't have a clue), dropped sandworm-baited flounder hooks to the bottom, and waited.  Again, I got a bite, and again, my father helped hold the rod while I cranked and caught my first boat fish--a bergall (a/k/a "cunner," "choggie" or "sea perch").

 

We went out on the boat one more time that summer, fishing for snappers, which I caught using only a tip section from a cane pole, because I was to small to be able to lift the cane pole if the butt section was attached.

 

After that, every summer, my father and I, and often my mother, fished from the wall at Grass Island every weekend catching flounders and eels, and the very occasional blackfish, until the summer of 1960, at which point we had our own boat, and fished from that.  The summer of '60 was also the year when I first set foot on a party boat, a half-day boat out of Provincetown, MA, and hooked my first (small) cod.

 

It was all downhill from there.  If I hadn't wasted much of my youth fishing when I should have been studying hard enough to get into an Ivy League school, and hadn't wasted much of my adult life doing the same thing, I could have been a wealthy and miserable man today.  Instead I had to settle for the fish, my wife who often fishes with me, and just being happy instead.

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My parents grew up in Howard beach , both grand parents were fishermen .  They tell me that i fell from the womb onto the deck of the 48 foot family owned charter boat , the Ro Ma Fran .   I and my younger brothers fished just about every weekend .  If we were not on the big boat , we were some were in the back yard , Jamaica bay .  

As i sit here with a little chill in my bones , 50 years ago today i was breaking the ice off the bow hand rail and deck after steaming out to go cod fishing.

  Grand pa  would tie a rope around us to make sure we stayed on deck when it was snotty and icy .

We kids had to fish the bow while the customers fished the stern ,   Some how they migrated to the bow , because the kids were catching most of the fish .  That or we were invited to the stern for good luck or just to watch how it was done .     At the end of the day the looks that you got because some kid won the pool. 

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